I recently reached a point in my travels where it became clear I couldn’t sustain what I was doing anymore.
A myriad of smaller reasons had manifested itself into a week of really not enjoying anything at all. The food, the places, the people, the freedom, it all sucked.
the shitty streets of Pahar Ganj, Delhi.
Historically, my 6th – 8th weeks away have always been hardest, a general homesickness kicks in and it would be ‘nice just to go home for the weekend’, but this was beyond that. Beyond the general homesickness, beyond missing Espresso on Chapel St, beyond surfing balmy summer afternoons, beyond missing BBQ’s with friends on the Yarra
This was total bitter-jadedness to where I am and what I am doing.
I’m the first to acknowledge traveling isn’t always ‘a great time’, life goes on, and you have good days and bad days just the same as at home.
This is something that first time travelers really have to understand, I’ve met so many people over the years, who come away thinking that its 24/7 ‘the best time of their life’ then get depressed when its not. Of course its not, who could actually sustain full time happiness, and omit the rest of their feelings?
But when the bad days start to heavily outweigh the good days, somethings up, and you really have to work out whats going on.
Hypothetically, this is the trip I have always been waiting for, the trip where I had nothing at home to rush back to, a healthy bank account, and the possibility to go anywhere I wanted.
But I’ve been caught up in doing what I think I SHOULD do, and what I thought would make me happy, instead of doing what I COULD do and knowing what actually makes me happy.
Its hard because its all so mental. Physically Im already here, already in the depths of hair raising bus rides and $4 hotel rooms. But now that I am here, I realize that’s not what I want right now, its what I thought I wanted, not what I know I wanted.
In a nutshell, a few of the reasons that were completely eating away at me; that I was carrying too much luggage (the worst side effect of a multi-climate trip), my destinations are too hot/dusty/chaotic/noisy, I’m over being hassled every time I step onto the street, and more than anything I’m really just underwhelmed by what I am experiencing.
7 years of on and off extended travel, 50 something countries, and 3 passports really takes you some places. The problem is, after a while, each new place starts to become very similar to somewhere or something you’ve already experienced, and its hard to keep stimulated and excited when there’s more that you don’t like about a place than you do.
For sure, the company your in makes a HUUGE difference, but its not always there, which means if your on your own, the environment your in IS your company, and if you hate it, well then everyones having a shit time.
So what to do?
“Why would you waste your time doing anything that doesn’t make you happy?”, I’ve always said as much, but right now I truly believe it.
Ive ditched 4kgs/volume of my luggage (with more to go), and I’m bailing on my plans to overland through Central Asia. Instead hightailing it straight to the Middle East, thus fast tracking my end goal to start my Dive Masters training in Egypt, what I wanted all along.
Just like in Paulo Coelho’s ‘the Alchemist’, where the Crystal shop owner is too scared to ever actually achieve his dream of visiting the Pyramids, because if he does he will have nothing left to look forward to, I think sometimes we sabotage ourselves from achieving what we really want.
Central Asia will always be there, and I’ll make it when the time is right. But for now I’m flexible and happy I’m not wasting any more time